Self-control is the iron quality of character. It is the foundation stone of integrity and courage. It is total control over one’s emotions, passions and actions. Your level of self-control has a major impact on what you will accomplish in every area of your endeavor. It is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. The price you pay to get the desired outcome. Apparently, a lot of people have started harnessing this powerful virtue of self-control. It is found to be a useful tool in attaining heights.
Take a look at five (5) practical steps in mastering the virtue of self-control:
1. Define your challenge (Discern).
This is the first step in mastering the virtue of self-control. When faced with challenging circumstances that seem out of your control, clearly recognize what you are facing and define it. Make it known to you. Be conscious of the definition so that it won’t just appear to be something it’s not. Be conscious of its presence and effects which normally triggers you to act in a certain way. Make that which seem out of your control (your circle of concern) clearly known to you.
2. The test (Self-restraint).
Self-restraint in the face of temptation or desire. After discernment, the test begins. When you have total self-control over that which you pleasingly desire, you possess “staying power”. It is the ability to stay with a challenge and not cow out. Undoubtedly, you will be tried and tested for whatever challenge you discern. Life will test your level of self-control before producing the desired outcome.
3. Composure in storm (equanimity).
This is the state of being calm, stable and composed, especially under stress. Your level of self-control when everything seems to upset you is the true test of strength. You clearly understand the challenge and it has been met with resistance but somewhere along the line the challenge doesn’t seem to wear off; forcing you to deviate from your chosen course. At this time, all hell breaks loose (the storm). You win in the storm by not fighting back. Keep your cool. Keep your composure when everything seems to upset you and it will eventually wear off.
4. Show appreciation (gratitude).
When life pushes one to the edge, its aim is not geared towards destruction but to refine the person like gold. When you acknowledge the fact that you will triumph over any challenge and anything that seems out of your control, you will live a life of appreciation; grateful for the storm and all its unpleasantness. The storm instills sternness in us that influences our personality and maturity. It teaches us how to control ourselves. It makes us appreciate a triumphant life with total self-control.
5. Take advantage (exploit).
This is the last step in mastering the virtue of self-control. At this point, you are grateful for all that you have learnt and now ready to do exploit. You have seen and witnessed the storm. And you know all its wiles. Now it’s time to take advantage. Utilize all the experiences gained from the lessons you learnt when not in control. Make the most of it.
When these five (5) practical steps are carefully followed, you will find out that you no long worry yourself about things you can’t control (circle of concern) rather you pay more attention to things you can control (circle of influence).